The year’s progress on advancing the interests of the West
2017 ANNUAL REPORT | MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT & CHAIR OF THE BOARD
Stepping up for the West – and the country
Almost 50 years ago, that was the simple but powerful idea behind the creation of the Canada West Foundation as a bold advocate for the shared interests of the West.
What then to make of licence plate spats, fierce pipeline arguments, the risk of an all-out trade war? These are not – should not be – battles between provinces. They are about Canada. We need leadership – political, business, labour, academic and yes, even think tanks – to ensure our future economic and social prosperity. We must also recognize that, despite some of the current challenges, the western provinces are indeed stronger together – that standing upand speaking out for the interests of the West as a whole makes all of Canada stronger.
Given the challenging times, both at home and with our neighbours to the South, our work at the Canada West Foundation is more important than ever. In Vancouver, we brought together trade experts to forge a list of trade priorities for western Canada. Roundtables in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta set up our ongoing work on how to tell success stories about Indig-enous resource partnerships. In Winnipeg, we asked Canadians of all stripes to put aside dif-ferences and put on their “Canada pants.” And for the whole Prairie region, we helped attract federal government supercluster support with our work on the plant protein opportunity. On trade, our analysis of, and vocal support for, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, especially after the withdrawal of the United States, was instrumental in getting the deal signed – a trade opportunity particularly important for our western Canadian economies. Our work on competitive climate policy continues to challenge governments to make good eco-nomic and environmental decisions, not just political ones. And we are changing the conversa-tion on how to build better workforces with a competency-based approach.
And while we do good work – 12 comprehensive reports in 2017 – it doesn’t do much good if it stays on a shelf. That is why we are also proud of having one of our best years ever in making our voice heard, with 77 related op-eds in national, regional and local publications and web-sites; more than 300 media interviews, more than 2,500 media mentions (at home but also in the U.S., Europe and Asia), and 65 presentations to political, business and other decision-makers.
But we could not do the work we do to enhance the social well-being and economic prosperity of the West, without the support of our many contributors who understand the importance of good public policy delivered with a credible voice. Thank you.
Oryssia Lennie, Chair of the Board
Martha Hall Findlay, President and CEO